It is Friday, so it is time for a song.  But first, a couple of photos and a story about the one that got away.  There are some photos, ladies and gentlemen, that should never be cropped and enlarged, so of course, I couldn’t resist.

(This post contains content that may gross out some readers.)

As my husband and I are greenies, we do not use pesticides on our garden, instead letting nature do its thing.  However, sometimes the odds are stacked against my plants and at those times, I have to give nature a helping hand.  Literally.  I’m talking about pesky aphids.  I currently have a batch of marauding black aphids attacking my garlic chives.  They love the stuff.

aphids.jpg

I normally deal with early spring aphid infestations by simply squashing them.  Well, that was until I photographed them.  It was like a blue movie —  an aphid orgy of stomach-turning proportions.  I almost lost my lunch.  However, there was one redeeming feature.  I was pleased to see a predatory wasp having a three-course meal.  Still, the amount of food on offer was more than this one wasp could handle.   

wasp.jpg

So I hosed the aphids into a bucket, which I then put into the freezer.  I feel remorse, but I had no choice, ladies and gentlemen.

Speaking of no remorse, when I visited the lake a few weeks ago, there was an incident.  Yup.  I heard a large splash and spun around quickly enough to see a dusky moorhen struggling in the water.  It tried to lift off but it was pulled under the water, never to re-surface.  I managed to get this photo of some bubbles as evidence of the crime.

incident.jpg

I’ve studied the photo for quite some time, examining each bubble in detail.  Unfortunately, it was the photo that got away.  I think the bird was taken by a rakali (yellow-bellied water rat) because my True Love and I had seen one in the reeds earlier on.  But he-of-little-faith doubts my story and refuses to forensically examine the photo.  Sheesh, what’s a nature photographer to do!

Like a break in the battle was your part, oh oh oh oh
In the wretched life of a lonely heart
Now we’re back on the train
Oh, back on the food chain gang
(Back on the Chain Gang, Lyrics by Chrissie Hynde.  Text in bold is my addition)

Sing it with me.

Oh, oh, oh, back on the food chain gang.

Happy weekend.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Response to the Ragtag Daily PromptHow Green Is Blue

57 thoughts on “Back On The Food Chain Gang

  1. I have had chives in the garden for at least 20 years but nothing has ever attacked them. Perhaps they are only appetising to the Australian versions of pests and Switzerland might be too cold for them. I was thinking you hosed them down, put them in the freezer and perhaps thawed them out at a later date as a means of survival.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve given the frozen water to my thirsty plant, Pat. They certainly breed quick enough, so there may be extra for the coming famine! Although I might try eating the starlings first. That’s another story. 🙂

      Predator numbers will start to build up over the next month and so the chives might have a chance then.

      Like

  2. What a great post in so many ways. I’m laughing at the freezer aphids (thinking about what a risky move that would have been while raising boys who constantly raided the pantry!) And of course I am singing along with Chrissie. (Which also makes me laugh thinking of confused, shivering aphids singing, “What hijacked my world that night to a place in the past we’ve been cast out of?”)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are so funny, Victoria. The same thoughts had occurred to me. Those poor aphids. Yes, I can just picture them singing that line. 🙂
      The aphids were frozen in a yoghurt container. Not the no. 1 choice for my boys. Which reminds me I had better rescue my dried apricots from the freezer. They are in another container with some ants. Everything is so hungry here at the moment!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I love the Pretenders so that was a treat — I use dish soap and water on aphids and sometimes “spray” with diatomaceous earth (works very well; cuts up their tiny carapaces and I can hear their screams while, at the same time, the soil is improved by the diatoms). But usually I just smash them. Lately I’ve had a lot of ladybugs (sub-contractors) out there working. I tell them every day how grateful I am. Sometimes they work on a plant I wish would die, so I move them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Whoa, I had to look up diatomaceous earth. You could write a thesis about it. I’ll mention it to my sedimentary rock specialist here. There may not be any deposits in Australia. It seems to need volcanism to lay down thick deposits.
      Fascinating.

      There was one ladybug on my plant but it was dead. I’m not sure what killed it. Maybe it ate too many aphids or it could have hatched last Autumn and died over winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t notice any negative effects of the diatomaceous earth on the good bugs. When the aphids weren’t there, the good bugs didn’t go there. BUT I have a big sack in the garage right now and I don’t use it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re the stuff of aphid horror movies, Tracy! 😀
    Bunch of teenage aphids on an idyllic island (or chive sprout), freely cavorting without a care in the world, only to have their party interrupted by a giant with a hose…
    😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I don’t use pesticides any more either Tracy but diatomaceous earth is pretty good as another comment above suggested. In the UK we also have something called SB Plant Invigorator which is a spray that works in a physical and non-chemical way. As the name suggests it also acts as a feed.
    I must google these fearsome sounding water rats! Can you train them to eat aphids?

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I also tend toward following nature’s lead and avoiding poisons around our house.
    EXCEPT: our house became the buffet for termites that were eating significant portions. The more they ate, the frass getting deposited all over our interior, the more dangerous it became for us. I had visions of the house caving because the structure had become unsustainable.
    So we did what we had to: had our house fumigated, poison gases permeating the inside for a day. They are gone, we are safer. Sometimes you have to do things you find otherwise onerous.

    I don’t like rats either – your story is an interesting post about gluttony.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your termite problem sounds horrendous, Sharon. Termite treatment and then repairing all the termite damage can be really expensive. We had them here too. We found them when we replaced our 30 year old carpet. I need to organise another inspection. I know I shouldn’t procrastinate but I have been. Still the weather is warming up now and if they are around, that is when they are most active.

      I have a real rat phobia. The rakali are very different. They are an indigenous rat and are very good for the environment, keeping our waterways clean. They don’t carry diseases like black and brown rats.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know where to begin Tracy. I love your approach to the aphids (which were a huge problem on our garlic chives last year), but I really was wondering ‘why the freezer?’ and hoping the answer wasn’t aphid-burgers.
    Love The Pretenders too!!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I do understand, especially if you’re really-using the water. I am still a little bit blasé about water, though I know I shouldn’t be, and am much more careful than most of my neighbours.
        Sorry to hear the aphids are back 🙁

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I guess you know this but “… major pest to watch out for are aphids which rapidly form crippling colonies on chives, often when the plants are stressed by hot weather and uneven watering.” Once I realised that, I put chives (or garlic chives) where they were handy for watering. One idea offered for existing infestation was to spray with soapy water or to throw a pail of dishwashing water over the clump (and then of course to keep an eye on them in case further treatments are needed).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my, I don’t know where to start. Firstly, your post made me laugh. I also put everything in the freezer! I’ve learned that from my grandma. Effective. We even put the compost in the freezer to prevent fruit flies in the house. This leads sometimes to some disappointments thought. I enjoyed this post, even the song choice. Love The Pretenders.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think your story of the Yellow Bellied Water Rat is a metaphor for those just up the road from you, and we’re the Moorhens pulled under by them. Love the choice of music. I’ve been encouraged to look at introducing an insect house to the garden as it increases the chances of ridding the pests. You surely should have put a 18+ on this post, those craven aphids, gasp.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Such a fun post! And the comments too! What a read! And those aphid pics are gruesome! Brr! 😂 Never heard of freezing stuff to prevent insect infestation in flour but it makes a lot of sense, would it also work with dried fruits to you think? And don’t worry about treating the aphids this way – they should know better than messing with your garlic chives. 😉 Might use your trick next spring too. Normally I crush them too – a little bit ugh! but necessary. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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